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Electronic Arts has signed a deal to publish the first game from Velan Studios, an independent game developer started by gaming veterans Guha and Karthik Bala.

EA Partners will publish Velan’s first original intellectual property for consoles, PC, and mobile. In addition to introducing a unique game world, the title will pioneer an entirely new and entertaining way to experience a community-driven, team-based action game.

“The mission for Velan Studios is all about trying to find new play patterns and new forms of entertainment,” said Guha Bala, in an interview with GamesBeat. “We are getting Triple-A developers together to do something very creative, not slightly better versions of something.”

He added, “That’s what we found with the title that is in development with EA. It’s … a new type of player experience.”


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To bring their vision to life, Velan Studios also announced that it will add 40 jobs, doubling its current development team by the end of the year. The Bala brothers started Velan in 2016, and they already have about 50 employees.

The Balas previously founded Vicarious Visions, growing it from a basement startup (when the brothers were in high school) to the forefront of Triple-A console development. They worked on titles such as the Guitar Hero series, the Skylanders series, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, and Destiny 2.

In other titles, Velan Studios is looking at mixed reality games. It is doing so with small prototyping teams that look for the “spark and magic that can change the way people play,” Guha Bala said.

“Exploring the boundaries of play with new technology and play patterns is what makes us tick,” said Karthik Bala, CEO of Velan Studios, in a statement. “Our plan was always simple: build an awesome team, find the magic in something new that the team was passionate about and then enable their success. We are looking forward to introducing their vision and evolving it along with players for many years to come.”

To date, Troy, New York-based Velan Studios has raised $7 million to provide the resources for its creative teams to invent, iterate, and arrive at game experiences that are new and unique.

“Velan’s vision for this new game experience is very inspiring, and when we played it, we were immediately captured by how engaging and unexpectedly compelling it was,” said Rob Letts,
general manager of EA Partners and EA Originals, in a statement. “Helping discover pioneering talent with ground-breaking games the world needs to play is what we’re here to do, and we look forward to partnering with Velan to deliver an experience that will push the boundaries of original IP and innovation to engage players in new ways.”

Guha Bala said the model for the studio has proven that the company can take real creative risks and still partner with a company that can give it global distribution.

“We started with a theory that there are a lot of things happening with technology, play patterns, and business models that allow us to deliver different kinds of experiences,” Guha Bala said.


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